Bus service will be a great loss

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Despite great efforts by the Disabled Consumers Society of Colchester to carry on a longtime tradition in downtown Truro, it has reached an end.

After more than three decades of welcoming bingo-goers to its Prince Street hall the society has made the tough decision to close its doors. This move will have an immediate impact on the community with the conclusion of a bus service on Feb. 14, funded by the bingo, designed specifically for people with disabilities.

The bus service was used by individuals, the private sector, various organizations and a daycare centre.

Jobs will be lost. The society employs two bus drivers, a dispatcher and a maintenance worker at the hall.

The once thriving bingo program has been hit by a number of pressures in recent years that have had a negative impact on its bottom line.

Society officials recently told the Truro Daily News that about eight years ago the hall would be packed every night with at least 450 people in attendance, seven nights a week.

That number has dropped so far in recent years that only 80 people were playing the game, now scheduled just four nights a week.

Officials named several reasons behind the closure, such as a decline in volunteers, less income from renting the hall to other groups, higher taxes, heating costs in the thousands and competition from a gaming centre located at the Truro Power Centre that opened in 2012.

Despite great challenges, volunteers have not given up hope of salvaging the bus service.

Appeals for help will be made to both the Town of Truro and the Municipality of Colchester County but it will take a real community effort if the bus service is to be saved.

There are other organizations in the community that host worthwhile programs supported solely by fundraising that are also struggling. Change is difficult and too often people hold fast to the way things have always been done without considering they way things could be done in an economy that is very different than it was eight years ago or more.

We hope possible stakeholders come forward who are willing to forge a new partnership that will see this service continue for people who truly need the support.

Organizations: Truro Daily News, Truro Power Centre

Geographic location: Prince Street, Truro, Colchester County

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